Welcome to my site.

I have started this site as a journal about my layouts and a record of the information I have found while building my N scale layouts.

I am far from an expert, and most of the information I have used has come from research on the Internet, or from talking to helpful people who have been there before me and were willing to pass on their knowledge.

Please feel free to browse through the various sections of my site for information on my layouts and control systems.

My Own Layout

My own layout is not prototypical, and it is not finished, but it is my layout and I enjoy working on it and operating it.  Model railway layouts are put together for enjoyment, and I believe that if the owner and users of the layout enjoy it, then it has achieved the main goal for having an operating layout .


When I think back, my model railway journey began when I was given a Hornby Dublo 3-rail train as a boy, back in the 1960’s.  It wasn’t a large set, only having enough track for a small oval with a side spur.  It had 2 locomotives, a Castle class and an A4 class, and 2 passenger carriages.

I must have really enjoyed that train set, because in later life when I came across it at my parent’s house my Dad advised me it didn’t work anymore – both locomotives were burnt out, but fortunately it hadn’t been thrown away.

I started wondering if it would be possible to repair the trains for “old times sake”, and so sometime in the 1980’s or early 1990’s I began searching on the internet to see if there was any information that would help with this.  My searching led me to a web site by a Hornby Dublo enthusiast Bill Mudie who was not very far away from where my parent’s house was.  Contact was made, and we arranged to visit Bill one night, so my Dad and I went along with my 2 trains.  Bill was most generous, showing us his large Dublo layout, and he also offered to repair the trains for me.  After a short period of time he contacted me, and another visit to his house ensued.  He showed me my 2 trains running around his layout and I was really pleased that they were once again in working order.  I still have those Hornby Dublo trains and parts, they still work, and I get them out of storage every so often to reminisce.  The image at the top of this page shows one of these trains against an equivalent N Scale locomotive (both a Castle class locomotives with similar passenger carriages).

Of course, even though these trains were now working again (as wonderful as it was), this didn’t satisfy my desire to have a model railway layout of my own.  At this point in our lives we were paying a mortgage (anyone remember the 15% or more interest rates in the 1990’s?) and starting a family, so actually starting a model railway layout was not a viable option.  However the bug never quite left me.  Every so often over the years I would attend a model railway exhibition put on by one group or another, always loving the detail displayed in these miniature worlds, and admiring the skills of the people who created them.  These occasional forays into the model railway world kept my desire alive, even if the ability to actually participate with my own layout was still not realistic for one reason or another.

Years later when I began my retirement, I felt the time was right to see about creating my own model railway layout.  I had the time, and felt that it would be something I would finally get to try out and hopefully enjoy.  After all, I had been wanting to do this for so long I was slightly apprehensive that my hopes would not be met once I started on this project.

I’m pleased to say though that I have not been disappointed, and I really enjoy the multi-disciplined aspect of creating my own model railway layout.  Carpentry, track planning and laying, electrical wiring, artistic aspects such as scenery, and PC integration are some of the areas involved.  I have chosen to create a complete layout with scenery, lighting and sounds, as opposed to just putting down some pieces of track and running a train around.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with putting down track and running trains on the dining room table, and I still do that myself on occasions if I need to test something out.  Model trains can be as simple or complex as the user wants, making them appeal to a wide variety of tastes.  Some people go all out, and create almost perfect reproductions of specific locations and eras with their layouts.  Whatever gives the user enjoyment is the right thing for each one of us.

So now here I am, jotting down thoughts and information I have obtained since starting my own layout, and I hope it helps others take the step to trying out model railroading for themselves.



SANGS Shopping Centre Display

Our N Scale model railway club, SANGS (South Australian N Gauge Society) is putting on a display at the Hallett Cove Shopping Centre (246 Lonsdale Rd, Hallett Cove SA 5158) between 10 December 2020 and 13 December 2020 inclusive. More information can be seen here.

More updates

Tonight I added pages for my main layout, and my portable layout which is currently under construction. They don’t have any real content yet, but this will be added over the next week or two.

What is N Scale anyway?

N Scale model railways are the world’s second most popular scale. They actual scale is 1:148 or 1:160 (depending on what part of the world you obtain models from), but they all run on tracks that are 9mm wide.

The other popular scale for model railways is HO. This scale is 1:87, with tracks 16.5mm wide, so the models are nearly twice the size as N Scale.

This means that it is possible to get more N Scale model railway into any given space than HO Scale.